In less than two weeks, the sights and sounds of Friday night football will once again fill the air all across the state as high school teams suit up in their gridiron armor and get ready to hit someone other than their own teammates.
The long, hot sultry days of practice and the aches and pains that the game of football brings will diminish once the stadium lights come on and the first game of the regular season gets underway.
There is a big match-up brewing right here in our county as the Bryan County Redskins and the Richmond Hill Wildcats collide on Aug 29 in Pembroke to open the season.
Bryan County approaches this season with some new faces and some players in new positions to suit the team’s needs. Leading the way at quarterback this year will be junior Winston Johnson who is sliding into that role after playing split-end last year. Backing up Johnson will be another junior, Ryan Poythress.
"Winston is a tremendous leader, a good athlete, great student - just an overall great young man," Coach Ron Lewis said. "I don’t have to tell him much because he listens real well and is very coachable. Winston is everything we need in a quarterback for our system. He may not be right for some other team, but he is what we need. Winston likes being in a leadership role. Some people don’t like it or can’t handle it, but Winston has showed me he’s up to the challenge."
Poythress has been learning the system the last couple of years also drew some praise from Lewis.
"Ryan has made improvements by leaps and bounds since last year," Lewis said. "He is not flashy or anything, but you don’t have to be in our system. We ask our quarterbacks to control the ball and carry out the steps we ask of them and Ryan is doing just that. He’s more confident under center this year and is doing a great job for us."
As with any opening game there is anticipation, but the intensity of a rivalry game seems to always push the spirit and desire to win to a higher level. Last year, these two teams battled in a low scoring affair that finally saw Richmond Hill come out victorious with a 3-0 win. Lewis mentioned that the two programs are somewhat alike.
"Richmond Hill has about the same kind of players as we do, they just have more of them," Lewis said. "They always have a physical defense and a power running game and I look for the same from them again this year. It should be a good contest."
The Redskins have a tune-up game Friday by way of a home scrimmage versus Metter, with a 7:30 p.m. kick-off time.